ExxonMobil wraps up Mozambican oil bloc deal with ENI

8 August 2016

Exxon Mobil Corp has concluded negotiations with Italy’s ENI group on acquisition of a stake in the Area 4 bloc of northern Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin, Reuters financial agency reported.

The deal between the two oil groups was closed after many months of talks, but at ExxonMobil’s request will only be announced in several months, the agency indicated, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Discussions had dragged on due to differences between the parties regarding the worth of the natural gas reserves discovered in that bloc, at a time marked by a global downturn in prices for gas (and oil).

In 2013 the Italian group sold an indirect 20 percent stake in that bloc to China National Petroleum Corporation for US$4.2 billion. But since then natural gas and oil prices have fallen by more than half.

ExxonMobil nevertheless acquired in 2015 three oil prospecting licences just south of the Area 4 Bloc, where the ENI group has discovered more than 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. According to the agency, this lends a new dimension to the deal now concluded. (Macauhub/MZ)